On 21–22 February 2019, under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Riga is hosting an international conference dealing with the prevention and combating of trafficking in human beings, “Human Trafficking – a crime with too few convictions and too many victims”. The event aims at improving understanding in the Baltic Sea region of the rights of human trafficking victims, strengthening investigation and criminal prosecution, and facilitating more effective hearings of cases in the region’s courts.
On 21 February, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelšs, delivered an address to the participants highlighting the continued topicality of the human trafficking issue. The State Secretary underlined the need for a closer and more effective cooperation among the responsible institutions and partners to fight that crime and offer appropriate assistance to its victims. The CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings provides considerable contribution to the implementation of projects that tackle trafficking in human beings by coordinating activities and information sharing at the intergovernmental level in the Baltic Sea Region.
The international conference organised and led by experts from the Ministry of the Interior has brought together representatives from the countries in the Baltic Sea Region, the United Kingdom, the United States, Slovakia, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission: investigators, prosecutors, judges, researchers, policy makers and members of non-governmental organisations working with the affected persons. The participants are discussing and sharing experience on the instances of human trafficking, their investigation and trial, as well as victims’ rights in the process of investigating cases of trafficking in human beings.
Until 30 June, Latvia will be holding the Presidency of the CBSS, one of its priorities being the promotion of concerted action in the Baltic Sea Region when faced with threats to public security, including in the fight against human trafficking.
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